should there be the Industry Standard when it comes to pricing Wedding Flowers???
In our opinion the Wedding Flower & Style Industry needs to get together and adopt a "best practice" or pricing guidelines in order to sustain professional business and allow everyone to grow within the industry.
At Kays Flower School we believe that having an Industry Standard will be of benefit every one. Our Creativity and Professionalism must be guarded & having an Industry Standard with reasonable guidelines will allow all Floral Designers & Stylists / Planners run a profitable business that allows them to enjoy their work without fear of being constantly undercut.
To those outside the Floral Industry the set up and installation of a Floral Display is in fact sometimes the most reasonable part of the cost of any Display.
It is our job to make sure our clients are not only happy but are excited with the floral deigns. In order to create this excitement a huge amount of time & energy goes into the planning of any event . It is this time and effort that can be forgotten, making our hourly rate actually below the minimum rate of pay sometimes.
Floral Designers that sell below an Industry Standards will soon find themselves
- in a negative financial situation
- they will lose respect from clients
- they will lose respect of other floral designers and consultants.
Pricing needs to reflect the value of your flowers, your physical & mental time spent consulting, planning, ordering, conditioning, constructing, designing, deconstructing and disposing of the flowers.
When I trained many years ago floral designers mark up the wholesale cost of the flowers 3 to 3.5 times per individual design,
We would then double the cost of hard goods, and add an additional 30 percent for the labour to create the design.
This was priced per each design
This did not include delivery , installation or deconstruction
This 30 percent markup covered the labor to physically make the design.
Some find it is easier when quoting to put it all together and times 4 or 5 the costs (not including delivery, installations and deconstruction)
This is know as the Industry Standard & you need this costing in order to sustain and support your business. Pricing any less than this devalues you as a florist / floral designer and indeed the chain of business associated with our industry like our wholesalers, growers etc.
Weather your business employs 30 floral designers or 1 floral designer this is the margin you should be getting.
This Industry Standard pricing structure is in place to protect those already established in the Industry and to encourage those newer designers who may become disillusioned because they are pricing inappropriately, and end up working for lower than minimum wage & ultimately burning out or giving up, with some even going bankrupt.
EVENT SET UP PRICING
It is important to note as a floral designer and also to make your clients aware that the price you quote for deigns does not include delivery, installation and breakdown. This should be priced as a separate cost. It is not unusual and is infact standard & expected to charge for delivery of flowers for all occasions so why not for weddings and events.
- Setting up the event many take many hours of manpower, this also needs to be priced accordingly.
- You may need to hire transport vans, cherry pickers, scaffolding etc to set up an event.
- How many staff will you need for breakdown, reloading vans, leaving the venue clean, dismantle displays, wash containers, dispose of flowers etc.
- Don’t forget to allow for breakages.
The Industry standard is 20% of the price of the flowers / installations etc. Before giving this additional cost you need to know how much manpower/ machinery/ tools etc you will need on the day to ensure the 20% covers these costs, sometimes 20% is not enough for smaller events.
You should also have a charge for breakdown added depending on the manpower required to breakdown and clean up. This is anything from 5%, but again this is only a guide, but it is a cost that needs to be charged.
Most event florists tend to underestimate the time that goes into an installation and it is important to be honest with our clients and ourselves about what exactly it takes to install and breakdown an event.
Don’t be afraid to offer your clients the option to collect the flowers and have someone install them and remove them on the day.
If you decide to offer this option, you need to hold a large deposit for your containers and stands that will be refunded when returned empty and cleaned.
Those of you who are an independent florist who may be setting up on your own, you should always charge for and assistant to assist you. This is always good to have someone with you to run for anything you may need and also in the case of an emergency there is someone there to get help.
Rental & Container Pricing
Standard Industry Practice is you do not charge a rental that are associated with a floral design, ie arch stands, urns, candelabras. However you should be charging a rental per item for any pieces extra, ie Chairs, Candles , Birdcages etc.
If a client comes to you with her design and tells you what she wants, there would be no charge for floral design. However if your wedding couple asks you to design the flowers for the venue, you now need to charge for your Creativity and Design.
If you don’t know the venue you may have to do a site visit. Have your Hourly rate for this and include it in your booking fee. Do Not design and give her all your ideas without a non refundable booking fee.
Sample Bouquets are becoming more of a thing now
A client comes to you because they like your style, they like your previous work. Once they have given you a theme / colour/ style / flowers to work with, personally I believe if they still want a sample bouquet, I would charge full price for it. Providing a sample of your work for free shows a lack of confidence in your own work.
Making a fabulous sample one day does not necessarily prove you will do the same the following week, flowers are a fresh produce and may not be up to your standard to use, but as a professional you can easily substitute.
Explain your expertise and reasoning behind this, and also the cost of the sample will be no less expensive that their actual bouquet, and it may in fact be more expensive depending on the quantities of flowers involved.
However, sometimes you may feel you would in fact like to make a sample, in circumstances where you were creating something or a style using flowers you were unfamiliar with, but remember it is not necessary to give this to your client.
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My Client says I'm too expensive, she can get another florist to do it cheaper, what should I do?
Transparency is key to any consultation, explain the reasoning for costs, but do not allow yourself to be played by clients and pitched against another floral designer.
Wedding Couples have come to you because they have seen your work, they like your style, they like you as a person. Stick to your guns.
We are responsible for the integrity of our industry, and as part of this industry we should act with integrity at all times. When we undercut a designer who has priced the job fairly we immediately devalue our work and the industry of floristry.
The client gets flowers under value but you get paid less for your work and will eventually you will feel under valued as a florist.
If a client sends you another floral designers contract / quotation to price, kindly return and inform that ethically you do not look at other floral designers property. It is so important to Respect the intellectual property of your industry peers.
This is our Industry, Our Livelihood,, It pays our mortgages, our kids piano lessons and gives us a holiday sometimes . Integrity within our industry is key, if we follow some of these guideline we will increase the value of ourselves and our work and our industry as a whole.